Well, Tuesday we went out to Stanford and got a second opinion from a world renowned hematologist. Essentially his reccomendations were:
- Get a bone marrow biopsy before starting chemo
- Use RICE over RCHOP, 4 cycles
- Do the bone marrow transplant now rather than later
Actually he explained that it was a stem cell transplant really, so they never actually harvest anything from the bone marrow. Anyway the Stanford oncologist who is much more of an academic still hasn’t gotten ahold of my oncologist in Sacramento, but here’s the regimen I’m looking at starting next week:
- Tuesday the 12th — all day outpatient getting rituxin
- Wed – Friday — in the hospital getting the rest of ICE
That’s all I know at this point since they’re still trying to finalize things. I won’t get a bone marrow biopsy before, but it really doesn’t make any logical difference since they’ll still have to do the chemo. This does mean I’m missing a lot of work starting very soon.
At least the waiting is pretty much over. And hey, hospitals may be more fun than I think
Lots of fun
Yesterday was a pretty great day. I got up and had brunch with Jon and Dopey who went on a banzai trip all the way from Vegas to spend the day. Joe, Ghen, Scum, Ben, and Tom showed up a little later. We hung out for the day doing mostly geeky things like playing BurnRate (the dotcom card game) and UNO Attack, which Kassie won, amazingly. We had dinner with the big group at Thai Basil in the back with the water and the open air. Of course everybody had to go home after downing some Chunky Monkey.
Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma
Well, we learned the biopsy results today. As it turns out, good news indeed, it’s the same as last time, Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma. It happens to be the most common type like 30-40% of all lymphomas. It also happens to be curable. And on top of all that since it just showed up in my neck again, it’s Stage I which is the best of the four stages.
My oncologist didn’t nail down the exact treatment regimine, but he’s leaning towards 6 cycles of RCHOP over RICE or something like that. He’s also not really sure I need to do a bone marrow transplant at this point given that it is Stage I. It turns out with another relapse you can do the bone marrow transplant then. But given that he wants us to check with Stanford, because they have different ideas on things.
I’d like to think I can just do some RCHOP and be done again, but I’m not getting my hopes up to high. Better to be prepared for something big like a bone marrow transplant still. So we’ll see tomorrow. I did find a pretty good blog on lymphomas with RICE and a BMT by a younger guy in Utah. It didn’t sound like it was too rough for him.
Tomorrow is second opinion at Stanford.
I should know pretty much what I’m facing in 45 minutes
I’m leaving for the oncologist’s office in a few minutes now. Soon I’ll know pretty much exactly what I’m up against. Plenty of questions.
I’m feeling much better now. My biopsy and portocath operation was actually two days ago, but as I remembered from last time I have a hard time recovering from the anesthesia. It was better than the last biopsy/removal of 4.5 years ago, but it still really knocks me out for 24 hours. I really don’t like brain altering chemicals in me.
So now a little portocath under my shoulder on my right side, that will probably be in for a few months. My little chemo/bone marrow transplant friend.